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Travel Guide 2   >   South Africa   >   Recipes


South African Recipes

Nowadays, South Africa is sometimes described at the "Rainbow Nation", in reference to the the country's diverse mix of peoples and cultures. This diversity is also reflected in the country's cuisine, which includes dishes and ingredients from a variety of different origins. These include:
  • The traditional cookery of indigenous Khoisan, Sotho- and Xhosa-speaking peoples.

  • Settler cookery, introduced by Afrikaner and British settlers.

  • Dishes influenced by Indian cuisine, brought to the country by immigrants from the Indian subcontinent.

  • Cape Malay dishes, which were brought to South Africa by immigrants from the Dutch East Indies (present day Indonesia) and Malaya (present day Malaysia).

  • Dishes influenced by Portuguese cuisine - the neighboring countries of Angola and Mozambique, are both former Portuguese colonies.
Here are some some popular South African dishes include:
  • Mielie-meal - Stamped or ground maize, often eaten in the form of a porridge, but also made into many other types of dishes, including beer.

  • Amasi (Afrikaans: Maas) also known as "inkomazi" - A popular indigenous dish, amasi is fermented cow's milk similar to yogurt or cottage cheese. It may be drunk or eaten with mielie meal (maize flour) porridge.

  • Isidudu - Pumpkin pap with curried cabbage and liver. Milk or amasi (soured milk) may be added, and if pumpkin is not available, potatoes can be substituted.

  • Mealie bread - A sweetened bread baked with sweetcorn.

  • Potjiekos - A stew containing meat, vegetables, rice or potatoes, with water or wine added. Some recipes include the addition of pasta of fruit.

  • Tomato bredie (Afrikaans: Tamatiebredie) - A stew made from mutton and tomatoes. A variety of seasonings and flavorings are used including cardamom, chillies, cinnamon, cloves and ginger.

  • Frikkadel - Meatballs with bread, eggs, onions and spices.

  • Hoenderpastei - Chicken pie.

  • Gesmoorde vis - Salted cod with tomatoes and potatoes, and sometimes served with apricot jam.

  • Biltong - Salty, dried, meat (beef, game or even ostrich), similar to jerky but made from thicker strips of meat.

  • Vetkoek - Dough, filled with ground (minced) meat or syrup and honey, and then deep-fried.

  • Waterblommetjiebredie - Meat stewed with Cape Pondweed flowers.

  • Malva Pudding - A apricot-flavored sponge-like dessert.

  • Melktert - Melktert is Afrikaans for "milk tart". This dessert consists of a pastry crust containing a creamy filling made from milk, flour, sugar and eggs. some recipes call for the filling to be cooked separately from the pastry and the two combined at the end, whereas in others, the whole thing is cooked together. Melktert is often flavored by sprinkling cinnamon on the surface.

  • Sosatie - Sosatie is a traditional Cape Malay dish, but popular with all of South Africa's communities. Mutton is marinated with onions, chillies, garlic, curry leaves and tamarind sauce, then placed on skewers, and either grilled or pan-fried.

  • Bobotie - This is another Cape Malay dish. It resembles a meatloaf with raisins, but with a baked egg on the top. Various accompaniments are eaten with bobotie, and these may include banana slices coconut, sambals and yellow rice, as well as chutney.

  • Samosa - Stuffed pastries, originally from Indian cuisine.
Here are some recipe books and cookbooks for South African food:

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Books about South African Cooking and Recipes

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South African Cooking in the USA

By Aileen Wilsen

Echo Point Books & Media
Paperback (212 pages)

South African Cooking in the USA
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Product Description:

South African cuisine is an exciting and unique blend of African, European, and Eastern cooking traditions distilled through years of diverse and dynamic culture into its own distinct style. Now, thanks to the charming and talented mother-daughter duo, Aileen Wilsen and Kathleen Farquharson, you can make all your favorite South African dishes in the right here in the States! With tips on procuring (or substituting) hard-to-find ingredients as well as accurate and reliable U.S. measurement conversions (so you'll never find yourself searching for a calculator in your kitchen cabinets!), South African Cooking in the USA is the most thorough and easy to follow South African cookbook on the market.

Inside you'll find over 170 mouth-watering South African dishes, tweaked and perfected for easy and authentic preparation in American kitchens. Ranging from snacks and appetizers, to entrees and decadent desserts, the dishes in South African Cooking in the USA will inspire hundreds of varied and delicious three course meals. Some favorites include:

  • Samoosas
  • Peppadew dip
  • Bunny Chow
  • Bobotie
  • Oxtail Stew
  • Hot Durban Curry
  • Monkeygland Steak
  • Chakalaka
  • Buttermilk Rusks
  • Melktert
  • Hot Cross buns

…And much more!

A perfect gift for ex-patriots longing for the taste of home or Americans with a fondness or interest in South Africa, South African Cooking in the USA is an integral part of any respectable cookbook collection.

The Classic South African Cookbook

By Melinda Roodt

Penguin Random House South Africa
Released: 2016-12-30
Hardcover (320 pages)

The Classic South African Cookbook
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The Classic South African Cookbook is exactly that – classic home cooking for South Africans the way they eat now. In line with the country’s diverse cultures, which often blend most harmoniously in the the kitchen, this book is a kaleidoscope of modern lifestyle with influences from grandma’s kitchen, popular Mediterranean cuisine, as well as both Indian and African culture. But no matter what the roots may be, this book sets a foundation for good, honest, carefree home cooking, incorporating all the well-loved and familiar favourites. The more than 180 recipes have been refined to guarantee mouth-watering results, no matter the skill level. Only fresh ingredients are used, while the various techniques are carefully explained – a real boon to those just setting out on their culinary journeys. Best of all, every recipes is accompanied by a full-colour photograph.

Traditional South African Cooking

By Pat Barton

Penguin Random House South Africa
Released: 2015-03-15
Paperback (144 pages)

Traditional South African Cooking
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Anyone who longs for a beloved grandmother’s famous milk tart or melkkos, or a great aunt’s delicious bobotie or vetkoek, should have this book in his or her kitchen! Traditional South African Cooking is a collection of well-known South African recipes that will enable the modern cook to continue the tradition and produce the same delicious meals that our ancestors used to enjoy. South African cuisine is a unique blend of the culinary art of many different cultures. Dutch, French, German and British settlers, as well as the Malays who came from the East, all brought their own recipes to this country. The subtle adaptation of these ‘imported’ recipes by the addition of local ingredients and the introduction of innovative (at the time) cooking methods resulted in an original and much-loved cuisine that still sits comfortably alongside contemporary cooking. Soups, Starters & Snacks; Fish & Seafood; Poultry; Meat; Game & Game Birds; Vegetables, Salads & Side Dishes; Desserts; Biscuits, Scones, Cakes & Sweet Tarts; Bread and Rusks; Sweets & Sweetmeats: Preserves, Jams & Jellies; Pickles & Chutneys; Fruit Drinks, Beers & Liqueurs; Index.

Complete South African Cookbook

By Magdaleen van Wyk

Penguin Random House South Africa
Released: 2018-11-01
Hardcover (368 pages)

Complete South African Cookbook
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First published in 1980, revised through further editions, this timeless classic bestseller will teach you everything you need to know about the preparation of food, advise on storing and freezing, and provide step-by-step guides to basic cooking methods, useful short cuts and serving suggestions.
Although it is the perfect book for a beginner, it is also an indispensable reference for the more experienced cook, offering more than 650 basic and easy-to-prepare recipes along with many tempting variations. There is a wonderful selection of hors d’oeuvres, soups, fish and seafood, meat, poultry and game, as well as sauces, vegetables and vegetarian fare, salads and dressings, egg and cheese dishes, desserts, cakes, breads and pastries, confectioneries, and preserves.
Each recipe is clearly laid out and is accompanied by useful information including kilojoule count per portions and whether the dish is suitable for freezing.

Table of Contents

Preface; How to use this book; Hors d’oeuvres; Soups; Fish and seafoods; Meat, poultry and game; Sauces; Vegetables and vegetarian dishes; Salads and salad dressings; Egg and cheese dishes, sandwiches, dips and snacks; Desserts; Baking; Sweet-making; Canning and preserving fruit and vegetables; Index

African Cooking: for beginners - African Recipes Cookbook (African recipes - African cooking - African Food - African Meals 1)

By Clara Taylor

Released: 2015-04-26
Kindle Edition (47 pages)

African Cooking: for beginners - African Recipes Cookbook (African recipes - African cooking - African Food - African Meals 1)
Product Description:

African Recipes Cookbook for Beginners: Simple, delicious and healthy recipes from all over Africa

Today only, get this Amazon bestseller for just $2.99. Regularly priced at $4.99. Read on your PC, Mac, smart phone, tablet or Kindle device.

If the topic about African cuisine mystifies you, you would not be alone. Africa is arguably the world's most diverse region. It is an entire continent with 55 recognised independent states. When it comes to the food, you would be right to assume that there is more to it than meets the eye. is there such thing as African cuisine?

Africa has got a mixture of indigenous foods, with European, Asian and Middle Eastern influences depending on what region you venture into. This can at times make it very difficult to distinguish between indigenous foods and those that have heavy external influences. At the same time, by recognising the culinary signatures of the cuisines of particular African regions, we are able to trace the outward influence African cuisine has had on other cultures and vice versa, for example the links between West African and South American foods, or evenCaribbean food.

There used to be no real "African Chefs" because much of the knowledge of African cuisine has not been formalised or viewed in a professional light. Things are changing fast now and some African chefs are emerging. African cuisine is also vastly distinctive from region to region, therefore pairing different types of African cuisines can prove to be tricky. This short book was designed as an introduction for beginners to the rich and blended culinary traditions from various african countries.

After downloading this book, you will learn...

  • Chapter 1 - 12 Amazing African Meals for Breakfast

  • Fruits and Pecan Teff Porridge
    African Chakchouka Breakfast with Warm Pita
    Fufu Banana Bread with Cinnamon and Almonds
    African Injera Bread
    African Sweet Bran Husks
    African-Nigerian Abala Recipe
    African Achomo Doughnuts
    Nigerian Agidi Pudding
    Congo Binch Akara with Fried Plantains
    Madigascar Salady Voankazo
    Moroccan Ahouifi M'semmen Griddle Cake
    -Fried Alocos

  • Chapter 2 - 7 Delicious African Dishes for Lunch

  • African Koshari
    Vegetable Marrakesh Curry
    Traditional Cape Town Pickled Fish
    Madagascar Vary Aminanana
    Minty Lamb Moroccan Kebabs
    South African Andouille Sausage and Shrimps Skillet
    Cape Cod Clam Chowder

  • Chapter 3 - 8 Delicious African Dishes for Dinner

  • Moroccan Lamb with Tortillas and Hummus
    Roasted Lamb and Chicken Stuffed with Freekeh
    Moroccan Chick Pea and Coconut Soup
    West African Quinoa Pilaf with Carrots
    Walnuts, Onion and Peas Quinoa
    North African Quinoa with Tomatoes, Mint and Scallions
    Beef Quinoa with Tomatoes, Black Beans and Corn Kernel
    African Boerewurst Sausages and Chicken Stew

  • Much, much more!

Download your copy today!

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The South African Illustrated Cookbook

By Lehla Eldridge

Released: 2010-05-15
Paperback (85 pages)

The South African Illustrated Cookbook
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Product Description:
The South African Illustrated Cookbook is a compilation of recipes dear to South Africans from all walks of life and traditions. It includes Xhosa, Cape Malay, Zulu, English, Indian, Afrikaans, Portuguese and new South African dishes. Illustrator Lehla Eldridge has captured various landmarks - both formal and informal - around South Africa to accompany these local recipes that she has garnered from cooks around the country. Her watercolor illustrations are whimsical, humorous and charming, yet perceptive of the country's rich and varied influences. A wonderful gift for an ex-pat or for the culinary traveler!


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